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Full text of "Inaugural address by Edwin Anderson Alderman on installation as president of Tulane university, Louisiana, Tuesday, March 12, 1901 .."

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Tuesday, March 12, 1901 

**1Flon sibt 0e& suts" 


Geo. H. Ellis Co., Printers, 272 Congress Street 





Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Board of Administrators and 
the Faculties, Students of the University, Ladies and Gentlemen, — 

To be concerned with the origin or development of a great insti- 
tution of learning is one of the most difficult tasks, as it is one 
of the noblest that modern society can place upon the shoulders 
of any man or any group of men. If I know my own heart, I 
come to your service, after patient thought, with an honest pur- 
pose and a large desire for usefulness, unmoved by small ambi- 
tions, unfretted by ill-will to any soul, and uninfluenced by any 
sort of fear or favor. I, therefore, accept, Mr. President, these 
symbols of a high office as one who takes on a great responsibil- 
ity, but who is likewise crowned with a great opportunity. Though 
conscious of a thousand shortcomings in the face of manifold 
difficulties, I yet undertake this task with a stout heart and a good 
courage. I feel about me the strength of the faculties of the uni- 
versity, whose message, delivered by their able representative, 
I profoundly appreciate, — a scholarly, large-minded, unselfish 
group of men, who have done heroic work in the past and who 
daily show forth their own worth and preach in their lives the 
wisdom and sagacity of William Preston Johnston and the board 
of administrators. I am conscious of the support and counsel 
of the board of administrators, eminent, far-seeing men of civic 
virtue and public spirit, who received a noble trust and have 
nobly administered it at much sacrifice of time and strength, 
without reward or hope of gain to themselves, save such large 
gain as comes to men who serve society in upbuilding ways. 

I see before me the bright and ever-widening circle of alumni 
and alumnse who have been nourished by Alma Mater, who shall 
take increasing part in the actual guidance of the institution, 
and who will not forget to strengthen the hands of its leaders. 

I believe in the dignity and in the conquering power of knowl- 
edge. I believe in the high destiny of my country and of this, 
its Southern gateway. I believe that the progress of democracy 
cannot be stayed, though its testing time is yet to come; and I 
have faith that the God, who has willed that this shall come to 
pass, will not fail to give wisdom to those who would prepare 
the future democrat for his sovereignty and his trial. 

I have heard your words of counsel, Mr. President ; and I shall 
weigh and heed them. I rejoice that so many of my fellows 
in teaching have found their way hitherward. I know that the 
whole occasion feels the inspiration and perceives the fitness of 
the presence here and the greetings of the representatives of the 
two great urban universities of the East and West to this urban 
university of the South; and I do not need to say that my heart 
is pleased by the message I have heard from my dignified old 
Alma Mater among the hills of Carolina, so dear to me always 
and so worthy of my love. 

The Tulane University of Louisiana has a most impressive 
duality. It is a compound of the sagacity of the State and the 
beneficence of the individual. It unites the dignity of age with 
the buoyancy of youth. It is, first, the University of the State 
of Louisiana, established by that State two generations ago; and 
it is, therefore, an expression of the moral strength of all the 
people acting collectively for lofty social ends. It is the Tulane 
University of Louisiana because it has received into its life the 
generosity of Paul Tulane and the munificence of Ida A. Rich- 
ardson, Louise Warren Newcomb, and Caroline Tilton, and 
other generous donors. It stands, therefore, as a monument to 
the high aims of the democratic State and to that spiritual 
earnestness and individual responsibility to society which are 
the most significant facts in the nineteenth century of our na- 
tional Hfe. 

I have been at some pains to learn the story of this university, 
as one should study the life-history of the being one must help 
to fuller life, and, while it is my part to-night to sound the note 
of the forward, I look backward and see that the past of Tulane 
has been worthy of its noble dual parentage. 

In its professional schools of medicine and law this university 
has stood for the highest ideals in this valley of the Mississippi 
for sixty-six years in the medical and fifty-four years in the law. 
An army of eight thousand or ten thousand men have gone from 
its walls to usefulness in these professions in every South-western 
State, in peace and in war. Great names have risen as leaders 
and exemplars. Blot out the influence of the alumni of these 
departments from the South-west, and there is no arithmetic that 
can compute the loss in moral and in intellectual power; and let 
it be understood that these men are alumni of the Tulane Uni- 
versity of to-day as truly as are the men of 1900, for there has 
been no break in the continuity of the institution's life. 

No great university will ever arise here, in my judgment, unless 
these departments, all departments, are continually readjusted 
to modem life, strengthened in equipment, and bound in well- 
knit ties to the whole. 

In its academic department there has been the usual story 
of struggle and reverse incident to such departments, especially 
in urban life. The story of its beginnings does not lack the ele- 
ment of simple, earnest grandeur characteristic of so many Amer- 
ican colleges. If the best has not always been done, it has been 
because no better could be done. 

Nineteen years ago Paul Tulane, a large-hearted Frenchman, 
had sight of the fair and happy city where his wealth was made, 
overborne by many sore troubles and hardly healed of the wounds 
and the scourgings of the red lashes of war. He startles the land 
— then unaccustomed to large private gifts — by giving, for crea- 
tive purposes for that day and for one man, bountifully and wisely. 
There is a fine historic fitness in the fact that this deed was done 
by a native of France whose sons had rescued the soil from the 
savage and the beast, and by their tenacity and courage had 
prepared the lands for statehood. Wise men accept the trust, 
and inaugurate the institution. A rare gentleman and scholar 
and teacher and soldier who nobly bore a noble name assumes 
its guidance. He gathers about him, with splendid discern- 
ment, young scholars fired with enthusiasm for learning and ca- 
pable of self-sacrifice for their land's sake and for learning's sake. 


Noble women, with hearts intent upon good works, broaden and 
strengthen the new foundation. The principle of co-ordinate 
education is set up in the South by the estabhshment of the New- 
comb College, a genuine, nobly equipped college for women, 
born of noble sorrow and high purpose and capable of highest 
and finest service. The State merges its property into the re- 
vivified institution, releases the whole from taxation in obedience 
to the principle estabhshed by all American States, that a uni- 
versity is a public utility and a public good for the young men of 
the State. The university, in return, surrenders an annual grant 
of $10,000, and grants scholarships to each senator and represen- 
tative to the amount of $15,000. The Tulane University of Lou- 
isiana is born, and begins its life. There is freedom from sec- 
tarian control; there is a raising of high ideals; difficulties are 
beaten down, and a social service rendered to which the years 
shall yield rich revenues of praise. To-day the institution con- 
sists of the colleges of arts and sciences and of technology, giv- 
ing instruction to 342 students; the medical department, 391 stu- 
dents; the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, 298 students; 
the law department, 77 students. This total of 1,108 students 
is 208 in excess of the next highest enrolment in the Southern 
States. So the past shines clear. We stand to-night upon the 
threshold of a new era in a new century, and with a new frame- 
work of society developing before us, — a century and a society 
that shall re-examine and settle a multitude of questions now 
chaotic and unsettled. You have summoned me, not to mark 
time, but to march forward. There is much work to do. In 
your strength I cry. Onward! 

Mr. Tulane felt, perhaps, rather than reasoned, that univer- 
sities were, in their essence, national public servants, and must 
grow by going out and battling with the times. New Orleans 
stood foremost in his mind, but he dreamed doubtless of a uni- 
versity for men and women of all sections here in this ancient 
city. He did not dare to foresee what the university should be 
striving for in the twentieth century. He did not hamper his 
bounty, therefore, by fretting conditions, nor did Mrs. Newcomb, 
in her noble letter founding Newcomb College. They both in- 

sisted on one thing only, and that was that the Christian system 
of life and thought should permeate the policies of their founda- 
tions. I can well understand that insistence. The human will 
is the core of human character. To make that will righteous 
is the goal of all education. Universities built upon sects and 
tied to sects do not flourish; but an irreligious university is mon- 
strous, because religion is life and truth. The student who has 
not felt the ethics of Jesus and who has not brought himself into 
some relations with the Galilean is no more fitted to enter into 
the actual life of Christendom than a man ignorant of Aristotle 
or Hegel or Kant can understand the movement of philosophic 

The essentials of a university — speaking untechnically — are 
a group of learned, earnest men, skilled in teaching; a body of 
learners eager to learn and prepared to go forward in learning. 
It may be a college or a group of colleges. There may be fifty 
buildings or one. It may cover the whole range of knowledge 
or it may restrict its activities to one field. It may be as old as 
Oxford or as young as Chicago. It is a place that seeks to find 
truth, to conserve truth, to disseminate truth with no narrow 
idea of the content of truth. It then seeks to plant truth, and a | 
love of it, into young human life, so that that life will grow into I 
a life of culture and power and righteousness. It does not seek f 
primarily to make a dialectician or an engineer or a pure scholar | 
or to prescribe a rigid course of culture study, but to give to each I 
youth the opportunity to study what will make a man out of him | 
in the age in which he must live and work. There must be, in I 
its policies, an increasing desire to study the individual and to f 
respect the sacredness and dignity of the individual, and to sur- I 
round him with liberty of choice. And yet this study of the in- I 
dividual must consider him as a part of the social whole, and its ^ 
final ends and aims must be for society as an organism. The f 
graven motto of this university is " Non Sibi sed Suis." No leg- | 
end more expressive of modern thought about universities could | 
have been chosen by the founders. Its meaning is that Tulane 1 
does not exist for its own glory, for the fame of its teachers or 
the dignity of its boards and founders or the sanctity of its cur- 


riculum, but for men and women, for citizenship and service. It 
means that a university is not a club, or a circle, or a fraternity, 
or a caste, but a light-house for the shedding of enlightened 
common sense upon all the affairs of men. It is a great benefi- 
cent social engine, geared and shafted to the vital concerns of 
busy life, sending power and spirit to him who would teach in 
the humblest public school, to him who would heal the sick, to 
him who would guide the course of justice, to him who would 
govern his fellows, to those who build homes, to the lords of 
trade, and to the forgotten ones who labor with their hands in 
the shadows of the world. 

A university is the supreme achievement of any community 
and its noblest servant. If the people of Louisiana from that 
far-looming hour, when the brave Frenchmen made their stand 
on the banks of the great river, to this hour, have ever created 
anything finer or more potential than Tulane University, my 
eyes have not yet seen it. 

Character and spirit of some sort distinguishes and surrounds 
every university. The teacher is the foremost element in the 
formation of this spirit. The world perceives slowly the deeper 
meaning of the teacher's ofllce. The modem teacher is not an 
unworldly recluse, spending his time in harmless meditation. 
He is rather a man or woman of affairs who knows something 
well, who has stood face to face with truth of some sort in its last 
analysis, and who knows how to warm that truth in the glow of 
his own personality and to relate it to the life of his students. 
And it is not what a teacher knows, but what he is and what he 
can do that makes his value. A good teacher is the excellency 
of the earth. The chief duty of boards and presidents is to find 
true teachers, to honor them by paying them what they deserve, 
and to give to them that freedom to learn and freedom to teach 
without which knowledge itself may become a refined weapon of 
tyranny. The chief burden of the lives of boards and presidents 
is the danger of erring in this vital concern. It has been said 
with some grimness that it takes a simple act of a board to put 
in a teacher, but that it takes an act of Almighty God to put one 

University spirit depends, in similar degree, upon the character 
of the president. That office is a new creation of modern condi- 
tions, and is almost insuperably difficult to fill. There is no 
analogy to it in the past. There is a fivefold relation which a 
president must bear to boards and faculties, to students and 
society and scholarship, that makes demands upon his sympathy 
and his wisdom so widely variant as to render it impossible for 
him to act without error and without frequent criticism and charge 
of duplicity. It is commonly alleged against college presidents, 
for instance, that they are liars. I hope it is not wholly immodest 
in me to say that this is a tolerably hasty generalization, like the 
famous one of the Psalmist's. A president can only avoid mis- 
takes by cunningly doing nothing. If an institution would escape 
the stagnation, therefore, of a do-nothing president {un presi- 
dent faineant), it must be willing to have patience with his errors. 
His chair, commonly thought of as the most stable piece of aca- 
demic furniture, has been somewhere described as the "rocking- 
chair," and at times the jogghng-board. 

The conception of a president as an autocrat on the bridge 
is an error. He needs power and trust and confidence and lib- 
erty to carry out well-conceived plans. He must be an execu- 
tive for faculties, as faculties are essentially invaluable in debat- 
ing societies. There is no place, however, for an autocrat in Amer- 
ican education. Between the president and faculty a loyal, 
hearty, helpful relation should exist. If he depends on himself 
alone, he will do but little, and that little not very good. His opin- 
ions must gain their weight from their wisdom rather than from 
their source. His truest strength lies in the power to divine the 
value of others rather than in any power of his own of action 
or of speech. For him there must be the open mind, the sym- 
pathetic spirit, the patient temper, the sleepless eye; and his power 
should be commensurate with his responsibility. Whether there 
shall exist in a university a spirit of buoyancy and of hope, whether 
faculties shall look upon their offices as jobs to be filled or as 
cause to be fought for, depends upon the attitude of boards and 
governors, who are the fountains of power and inspiration to 
teachers and pupils. The chief duty of such boards is to show 


wisdom in choosing servants and confidence in them, when chosen; 
to use zeal in getting money, and foresight in spending it; to de- 
mand of their servants reasonable results; to keep in intelligent 
touch with university aspirations everywhere; to know that a 
university cannot stand still, and hence to be willing — upon 
occasion — to show hardihood in going forward rather than res- 
ignation in going backward. The character of a university de- 
pends finally upon the work, the ambitions, the adult service to 
society of its students and alumni. 

Young gentlemen of the university, I thank you for your courtesy 
to me, so winning and uniform. I praise your admirable self- 
discipline. I shall wish to deal with you as I may have wisdom, 
with sincerity and courtesy. I shall wish to be a part of your 
lives from your ideals to your sports, from your scholarly ambi- 
tions to your happy shouting. I feel the contagion of your en- 
thusiasm and loyalty, and we shall be friends. There can never 
be any compromise with the lower life in Tulane. There can never 
be any peace with shiftlessness and self-indulgence. It is sensi- 
ble to be good. "Be a good man, Lockhart," said great Sir 
Walter, as he lay dying; and he spoke as one whose soul had trav- 
elled far in human field and whose eyes at last beheld the things 
that are not seen. A real man, too, must honestly work. It 
does not matter how low he may have fallen, if he will but work, 
there will come some splendor into his days. It is a beautiful 
thing to see radiancy and laughter on the face of life, especially 
if thoughtful lines are smoothed and brightened thereby; but 
there is hideousness in mere joy when it shows vacantly and sounds 
emptily, like the crackling of thorns under a pot. 

There is an old theory that college life is dangerous, and that 
college life in cities is very dangerous. It is dangerous, of course, 
to be a human being at all ; but it is a fallacy that college life and 
city life are more dangerous than life elsewhere. The lusts and 
conceits of life are not barred out : they are faced and fought out. 
You cannot surround boys with a moral mosquito netting, to use 
a local illustration. They must stand in the open and fight. 
A college is the safest place in the world for a boy to spend his 
youth; and there are no safer colleges than those which stand 


in great cities in touch with reahty, inspired by civic ideals and 
restrained by civic laws. They are safer far than sordid villages, 
lonely farms, shops, markets, counting-houses, or barracks; for in 
them ambition beckons, noble friendships are born, honor shines, 
hope gleams, and manhood unfolds its untried wings. The city 
college is no place for a weakling. But there is no place for 
a weakling. I dare to say that the morals of the students of city 
institutions are better than those of rural institutions. The iso- 
lation of the country tempts youth to ingenious deviltries and 
artificial codes of conduct unknown to the city student. 

Alumni and alumnae of the university, you are the fruits of 
this tree; and by its fruits only can it be known. If it has any 
strength, you are that strength. If it hopes for any power, those 
hopes centre in you. Your love is worth more to it than gold. 
You will one day control and direct its life, not because you may 
demand or claim it as a right, but because you will have so borne 
yourselves to it in earnest and unselfish devotion that the dullest 
will see that none can care so well for a mother as her children. 

Civilization made distinct gain when it perceived that educa- 
tion is worth sacrifice. I hope to see at Tulane an increasing 
number of men who have made sacrifices to get there, and who will 
continue to make sacrifices to stay there. Poor men, struggling 
for education, spiritualize and idealize the whole atmosphere 
of universities, just as mothers and fathers, who are willing to 
work a little harder and deny themselves a little more for their 
children's sake, spiritualize and idealize communities. We hope 
to organize a system here by which a student may work his way 
through college by honest labor if he so shall desire. Already 
many students are working at the printer's case and in oflSces 
and shops, and there is no reason why scores of others should 
not do likewise. Let us thank God that poverty no longer 
keeps man from education. 

If there be a worthy poor boy in I^ouisiana, from Caddo to 
Orleans, who wants an education, I send him word in the name 
of the administrators that he can get it at Tulane, and that boys 
of his mettle shall never be turned away from its doors. There 
are scores of boys in New Orleans alone who are working for 


meagre pay and dooming themselves to routine life who ought 
to be at Tulane training themselves to direct and control the 
larger movements of our society. It is a tragedy for a boy to 
leave college, in especially the upper classes, for the sake of any 
small salary. The direst immediate need of the institution is 
a loan fund to assist worthy men over the rough places, and the 
direst need of the community is a spirit in its youth that will make 
them look upon life as marred that is not taught and uplifted by 
culture and training. 

At the outset of my administration I extend to every college 
and school in this State and section the assurance of Tulane's 
friendship and good will. We are bound together by the ties 
of scholarship and noble endeavor. There is room for all and 
work for all. Let us have done with the crass conception of col- 
leges as rivals, dwelling churlishly in hostile camps and seeking 
numerical advantages the one over the other. The curse of edu- 
cation in the South is a false individualism and a false loyalty, 
resulting in disorganization and a failure to perceive the unity 
of the educational process, and the necessity for some acknowl- 
edged headship, above false standards, materialistic clamor, or 
petty envyings. There is too much grand-stand playing and 
not enough team work in our educational system. Education 
exists to make men. The public schools constitute one step in 
that process, the secondary schools constitute another, the col- 
leges still another; but they are not independent repubhcs of let- 
ters. The process is one, and hurtful antagonism can no more 
exist between them than it can exist in the shining of two light- 
houses set at different angles along a bleak and stormy shore. 
Tulane University wishes to unite with its sisters in an effort 
to establish a true correlation of educational forces in Louisiana 
and the South. It proposes especially to foster the secondary 
schools, public and private, which are at once the oldest educa- 
tional forms, and those most necessary to universities. Eventu- 
ally, it hopes to see the path clear from its doors to the public 
schools of the State. When that hour comes, and boys come 
here from the hills of Louisiana and from her public schools, — 
we need some hill boys, — there will be no more doubt and ques- 


tioninjT about growth. On the contrary, if we let the grass grow 
between us and the doors of the pubhc schools, that neglect will 
spell ruin for us. This university must keep its eyes on the people. 

It is our purpose to maintain a high standard of administra- 
tion and graduation, but we mean by the establishment of spe- 
cial courses to open our doors to any young man of character 
and maturity who wishes contact with university life. 

Tulane University is situated in the greatest city of the South 
and at the extreme southern point of the continent. Its highest 
and first duty is to discover its true scope and its true service. 
What demands will the new century make upon it for directive 
power.'* Shall it become a university or shall it content itself 
with mere college work.^* Its founder intended, its board and 
its faculty have dreamed and hoped, that it might become a uni- 
versity. Its situation suggests this destiny. A university is not 
a mere congeries of professional schools or a large aggregation 
of students. The modern university is a new and somewhat 
undefined educational form, building upon the basis of cultured 
manhood, opportunity and capacity for research in wide fields, 
and creating ability to translate knowledge into power. Tulane 
University is such a university in spirit and in hope. There 
are no such universities in the Southern States, though the name 
is freely used by foundations ranging in power from the Univer- 
sity of Virginia to mono-hippie establishments presided over by 
an energetic wife and her husband. A yearly income of a mill- 
ion dollars is necessary for a great, modern university of this 
type. A yearly income of a hundred thousand dollars, exclu- 
sive of professional schools, is necessary to begin true university 
work. The annual income of Tulane University is less than 
$75,000. Let it be confessed, therefore, that Tulane is poor. 
The great modern subjects of biology, geology, pedagogy, soci- 
ology, and Spanish, are but feebly represented in its work. There 
is a wide-spread opinion that Tulane is rich. A million dollars* 
endowment seemed fabulous to people in 1882, accustomed to the 
old ideas of the humanistic college and unfamiliar with the changed 
attitude of institutions to the community and of the expense in- 
cident to instruction in science; but the income from a million dol- 


lars is pitifully inadequate to maintain a modem university. Tu- 
lane faces a deficit every year in doing honest, economical college 
work. Though it is short-handed and cramped in every depart- 
ment, I am glad to say that it spends all of its income, and would 
do so if its income were four times greater. I am glad to say, 
too, that, if all of its present needs were supphed, it would probably 
need something more. A university that spends less than its 
income is as remiss in its duty as a bank is that spends more, for 
there is the polar difference between working for dividends of 
gold to stockholders and dividends of efficiency to society. 

I do not believe that a mere college for liberal culture will sat- 
isfy the demands of the new era in this region. Universities must 
use common sense, as men do in their business, and do well what 
most needs to be done. No real growth can come to Tulane unless 
it becomes true that men must come here to get the best of some- 
thing not to be obtained elsewhere. This is the secret of the 
success of the medical department. It is our doom to do author- 
itative work in some few fields compelling attendance from able 
youth, or to accept a fate of mediocrity or eclipse by institutions 
able to provide general culture at a smaller cost. Urban univer- 
sities, until they grow very rich, cannot compete for numbers 
with rural universities in more humanistic training. In propor- 
tion as expenses are higher, opportunities must be rarer and in- 
tenser and closer to life service, in order to attract students. It 
is not necessary that Tulane should offer true university instruc- 
tion in all branches; but it is necessary that it should give uni- 
versity instruction in some branches, and in those branches most 
vitally touching social development in the area of its influence. 
Even the greatest universities can no longer be self-sufficient. 
Each must aim at pre-eminence in certain things, and there must 
be comity among all in obedience to the great co-operative im- 
pulse now manifesting itself in everything, from a retail store to 
an empire. It is the business of Tulane, therefore, to decide 
what are the needs of the area from wliich it shall draw patron- 
age, and to minister to those needs in the interests of the national 

The next ten years of our life are to be revolutionary years, 


and the issues to be decided are social and industrial. Public- V 
spirited men and women, national in feeling and aware that great \ 
results in these directions are to be accomplished by collective 
effort rather than by picturesque individualism, are the continu- 
ing elemental needs of any community. The hour has come 
for the patriotic scholar to play his part in our upbuilding. We f 
have had experience of the masterful, impulsive, dominant type, 
whose wilfulness outran his knowledge. We want the man now 
who knows about things before he settles them, instead of the 
man who settles them first and learns about them afterwards, 
A great uplift in thought and feeling has come into the life of 
America and the South in the past five years. The deadly dul- 
ness of "parochial" politics has passed away. For good or ill 
our country has swept into a larger cycle ; and our young men must 
become fit to be State builders at home and world politicians , 
abroad, as their fathers were fit to endure the shock of battle *; 
and to repair the ravages of war. This is work for the man who i 
unites scholarship and sympathy and calmness in an effort to j 
find sound basis of action. It is a time, too, of peculiar exalta- j 
tion and danger. It is idle to stand and rail against the spirit 1 
of an age. Let it be confessed that it is an age of machinery and 
exactness, of scientific achievement, of accumulation and enter- i 
prise. Let it be confessed that there is a danger that men shall 5 
cease to be lovable, or even able to live full, rich lives; that there ^ 
is a peril that we are to have an era of tall buildings and little 
men, of syndicate formers and market cornerers rather than of 
men who can perceive some dignity and splendor in life. And 
what then ? Is it not the old story of the travail of society ? "Not 
painlessly doth God recast and mould anew a nation." The 
whole of our social and political life has been changed by physi- 
cal science, and will be changed still more marvellously. What 
are we going to do about it.^^ Stand and whimper bitter pessim- 
ism.^ If the golden mean between efficiency and sordidness, 
between technical skill and material scorn of culture, can be found, 
education must find it through the agency of the church, college, 
and professional schools. If the inefficiency and vulgarity for- 
ever threatening democracy can be checked, education must 


check it. If the headiness and insolence of wealth can be spir- 
ituahzed, education must spirituaUze it. This great social ser- 
vant, the college, is sometimes overshadowed in city hfe; but it 
is eternally true that it is the hearthstone of the university. Blow- 
out its light and check its warmth, and the whole edifice is wintry 
and cheerless. The authorities of tliis university have wisely 
decided to build dormitories in obedience to a feehng that the 
college needed some vitality, some picturesqueness, some home- 
hkeness, and some hearthstone. A college must somehow charm 
the boy's heart if it dreams of relying on the man's love. If 
I plead for books in our meagre library, if I plead for a gym- 
nasium upon our grounds, I do so because these things are nec- 
essary to make the college a place of culture and charm for youth. 
If I plead for an assembly hall, it is because it is needed to furnish 
unity and a common meeting ground in university hfe. We 
need loan funds for worthy poor boys which shall help them con- 
quer poverty and to reach up into Hfe. We need scholarships 
and lectureships paying $500 or $1,000 which shall bring into 
residence here able students and scholars; for we cannot feed 
upon our own academic tissues, and we are too cosmopolitan and 
too isolated to do without these things. I envy the rich man or 
woman who could do these deeds. The angels in heaven may 
well envy them so fine a service. It is not necessary to give a 
million dollars. A thousand dollars opportunely given can some- 
times change a situation from despair to hope. There is need 
in Louisiana for a good, honest college of arts and sciences for 
men and women. Therefore, we must maintain these colleges 
in Tulane, have patience with them while they grow, and seek 
for ampler means for their growth. 

The highest expression of the world's power, and especially 
of the South's power, to-day is not literary, but scientific and in- 
dustrial; and this is hkely to be so for some decades. Trade has 
always been the pioneer and the prophet of civilization. There 
is a struggle for life and empire among nations and communities, 
with Titanic forces like steam and electricity for weapons; and 
nations must know machinery and the organization of industry, 
or perish in the struggles. The South has ceased to be pastoral. 


and is in the midst of this struggle. Education cannot turn back 
this mighty social impulse. It must do what it can to elevate 
social motives, to reach men's hearts, and make them reasonable 
and kindly. If it shall fail, there will be some orgy of blood and 
change. If it succeeds, the world will sweep grandly into a fairer 
time. It is common sense, and not materialism, to know how to 
make bread, to manufacture raw materials into costly products, to 
build cities and homes, to keep them clean and healthy, to master 
nature; and it is social servitude to have to hire others to do 
these services for you. 

There is need for doctors and lawyers and dialecticians, but 
there is even more urgent need for trained professional experts: 
for civil engineers for the construction of dams and waterways; 
for electrical engineers for the management of electrical power; 
for mechanical, chemical, sanitary, sugar, and textile engineers; 
for architects and designers and promoters and managers. This is 
the work of a college of technology; and its equipment here should 
be enlarged, so that young men must come here for these pur- 
poses. Philanthropy and the State should strengthen this already 
strong department, instead of establishing new foundations. 

A small appropriation, for instance, added to our present equip- 
ment would make possible an effective textile school here; and 
a few thousand dollars spent upon the department of sugar engi- 
neering would enable it to multiply vastly the power of the sugar 
planters of Louisiana, and to affect the sugar industry of Latin- 
America and Cuba. Is not Tulane University the logical place 
to disseminate the best knowledge about sugar manufacture? 
Indeed, the world has a right to demand this of us. 

It is a singular and startling thing that no Southern college 
attempts to study social phenomena in any adequate way. There 
are no scientific departments of sociology in the South. We have 
widened out from the circle of liberal art into mechanics and tex- 
tiles, but we have not approached the study of human forces in 
any scientific fashion. Our students approach these subjects 
largely in the spirit of the empiric, the dilettante, or the politician. 
Yet the realization of our highest selves in life and law is our chief 
problem. This is no longer a question of personal courage and 


grim endurance, but a question of scientific knowledge of human 
society in its many phases. A thousand schemes for social amel- 
ioration are afoot in the South, ranging from suffrage questions 
to the establishments of libraries. Let us make no patchwork 
job of it. A new kind of social spirit and social knowledge are 
needed to guide these movements. The South has become self- 
conscious and tolerant of criticism. It perceives society as an 
organism to be understood, and taught the laws of growth. New 
Orleans is the place, and Tulane the university, for the inaugura- 
tion of such a large, generous study of social and economic forces 
as shall attract here the youth of this vast area. Men can study 
Greek in groves, but they cannot study modern life save amidst 
modern life. Here, at least, in this great human laboratory, we can 
do something so well that our sisters will turn to us, and ask us for 
teachers; and Tulane must send out more teachers from its grad- 
uate school. The power to make teachers is the highest charac- 
teristic of a university after all. Our youth must have trained 
minds for the study of social questions. Our brethren of the 
North and West are easily moved to philanthropy by the specta- 
cle of the negro striving to become worthy of American citizen- 
ship. They are not so easily moved by the spectacle of the white 
man striving to understand and handle the greatest social prob- 
lem of the ages. And yet the education of one white man to the 
point where he studies society scientifically, and where he ap- 
I proaches social and racial questions in a large, sympathetic way, 
'' is worth more to the negro himself than the education of ten ne- 
I groes. Chairs of sociology established in your Southern univer- 
|; sities would do more to settle wisely vexed racial questions than 

many new foundations for colored youth, and I say this in full 

1 sympathy with the education of the negro. He must be educated. 
f Ignorance is no remedy for anything. 

Closely related to this work is a school of finance and commerce, 
which should be established at this university. New Orleans is 
distinctively a commercial city. It is destined to become the gate- 
way through which shall pass the vast trade of Latin-America, 
the Orient, and this mighty valley. Here can be collected to 
best advantage the data concerning the conditions and markets 


of these lands. Here can be studied to best advantage the lan- 
guages, especially the Spanish language, customs, civilization, of 
those regions which we shall clothe and supply with their needs. 
A really broad school of commerce and finance, such as dot the 
districts of Germany and have contributed to give Germany her 
industrial pre-eminence, supplying trained guides and emissaries 
of trade and masters of economic energy, seems to me to be an 
opportunity for unequalled educational service. 

I have mentioned only a few of the pressing wants of Tulane. 
To mention them all would tax this occasion beyond endurance. 
Universities must have money or starve. Universities cannot 
make money, and it is a sin to starve them. The funds of Tu- 
lane are managed economically. $25,000 worth of tuition is 
now given to scores of students, and no poor boy will be turned 
from its doors. The instiution is doing everything that it can 
do with its endowment, which is not equal to the income of some 
institutions in American. We need another million dollars here; 
and we must get it, or go backward. We cannot accomplish any- 
thing by merely scrimping and paring and turning old clothes. 
It is a stunting inheritance from days of poverty that makes us 
try to achieve large results with small means. We are no longer 
poor, and the day of large things is at hand. About $130,000,000 
has been given to education in America in the past two years. 
The whole South has received less than 1 per cent, of this, and 
Tulane about 1.25 of 1 per cent. Men give to institutions in 
the region bounded by their horizon. This is a law of philan- 
thropy. Tulane, therefore, must depend upon New Orleans, 
Louisiana, and her alumni. I appeal especially to the men and 
women of New Orleans who are able to help their university to 
richer life. It is not Mr. Tulane's university, it is not the board's 
university, it is not my university: it is the people's university, 
and their children's university, and their children's children. I 
appeal, therefore, to the people, and ask for their sympathetic 
criticism, their toleration, their friendhness, and their helpful- 
ness for an institution as truly their own as Audubon Park is, 
or the liighways of the city. 

A great city is at once the glory and the shame of civilization. 


Its deepest need is a true university at its heart to elevate its spirit, 
to inform its mind, to direct its conscience. Tulane has tried to 
do this in its short hfe vi^ith fair wisdom. Shall it do so more 
abundantly.'' New Orleans is no mean city, and it has no mean 
destiny. It has not been for nothing that so rich a tide of human 
movement and incident has flowed through its gates for parts 
of three centuries and under the flags of three nations. It has 
known many moods of sorrow and passion and grimness, but 
it has never forgotten how to brighten with summer laughter 
and to smile as at the hope of a new Hfe. This new life is at 
hand! New Orleans sees itself a great entrepot in the shifted 
centre of the world, with the Orient for neighbor and the islands 
of the seas for kindred. Tulane University has the desire to add 
to the courage and joyousness and energy and charm of New 
Orleans the consecrating crown of seriousness and cultured power. 
Will you help it to do this.? There is a story that pleases me 
well of a Boston man who was condoled with in the summer of 
1898 upon the possibility of a descent upon Boston by a Spanish 
fleet. He made this reply : " You speak as if Boston were a local- 
ity, — nay, more, a place. Boston is not a place. Boston is a 
state of mind. You can no more shoot Boston with a gun than 
you can shoot magnanimity or justice." There is truth as well 
as satire in this. Athens is not a place, though the sunlight still 
falls on Hymettus and the sea flashes around her shores. Flor- 
ence is not a place, though the Italian hills stand about it in ven- 
erable beauty and the Arno cuts it in twain. Jerusalem is not 
a place, though one may stand on Calvary, green with young 
grass and blood-red with the poppies of spring. New Orleans 
is not an asphalted swamp, but a state of mind, composed of its 
traditions, its achievements, its memories, its ambitions, its ideals, 
— a community steeped to the lips in history and romance. Shall 
New Orleans covet the commercial fame of Liverpool and of 
Hamburg? Shall it become a place of markets and of wharves 
and of smoke alone, or, by some sacriflce and generosity, shall 
it seek to make for itself a place in the circle of cities hke Leyden 
and Bologna and Edinburgh and Cambridge, whose names stir 
our blood and about whose hills or flat fields rests forever the 


majestic charm of spirit and of mind? See how Chicago and 
New York and Baltimore are strugghng to enter this charmed 
circle, realizing that the care of their institutions is a test of their 
civilization. Tulane belongs to men and women, but this city 
has the honor to be its guardian. Do we realize, dear friends, 
in our bones and marrow, what a spiritual fact it may become, 
what a well of moral energy springing freshly amid the jargon 
and roar of trade and the marts. Immortal youth attaches to 
its being. The hopes and dreams and ambitions of fathers and 
mothers hover about it each recurring year like a cloud of loving 
witnesses. Fresh minds and young hearts enter its doors, that 
their weakness may be turned into strength and their longings 
into righteousness. Some light of genius may one day flash and 
burn within its walls. It is your duty, men and women of Lou- 
isiana, to foster it, mine and my colleagues to serve it. 

I cannot be to it what William Preston Johnston was, its noble 
pioneer president, who used up his life in its service; nor what 
Randall Gibson was; nor what Stanford Chaille is; nor what 
many others were, living and dead, who have linked their names 
with its history, and whose labors shall never go to waste. 

Nor is this a fit hour for mere protestation. Surely, an honest 
man will perceive the dignity of his task, and will use what strength 
God has given him to do what he can, counting himself but little 
if the work be done worthily. Five years ago I declared my 
ideal for my Alma Mater, then intrusted to my untried hands. 
I have no other for this new labor of my life. My desire would 
have it a place where there is always a breath of freedom in the 
air; where a sound and various learning is taught heartily with- 
out sham or pretence; where the life and the teachings of Jesus 
furnish forth the ideal of right living and true manhood; where 
manners are gentle and courtesies daily multiply between teacher 
and taught; where all classes and conditions and beliefs are wel- 
come, and men may rise in earnest striving by the might of merit; 
where wealth is no prejudice, and poverty no shame ; where hon- 
orable labor, even rough labor of the hands, is glorified by high 
purpose and strenuous desire for the clearer air and the larger 
view; where there is a will to serve all high ends of a State strug- 


gling up out of ignorance into general power ; where men are trained 
to observe closely, to imagine vividly, to reason accurately, and 
to have about them some humility and some toleration; where, 
finally, truth, shining patiently like a star, bids us advance, and 
we will not turn aside.